header i-Italy

The Day After

Aileen Riotto Sirey (November 09, 2016)
A heartfelt comment by the Founder and Chair Emerita of the National Organization of Italian American Women. "For me the most disturbing characteristic of this campaign was Trump’s attitude toward women. He seems to see them as objects, not as individuals in their own right...less intelligent, inferior creatures subject to the convenience and entertainment of men like him. He ran against one of the smartest most knowledgeable women in this country, a woman arguably better trained and prepared for the job than any man ever to place his hand on that iconic bible. It’s sad to see that sexism is still very much alive."

Like many Americans, I am still stunned by the election results, primarily because of the vitriol expressed by the President Elect during his long and contentious campaign.  How could he attack or insult so many different groups and still remain the people’s choice?  It seemed like a betrayal of those cherished values that I learned in my elementary school years during World War II.  At that time we were engaged in the greatest struggle in our history while trying heroically to preserve the ‘land of freedom and opportunity’ where people of all races and religions were expected to try to live in peace and harmony.

I heard no expressions of these values during the Trump campaign.

Yet they were a key part of a belief system expressed by Presidents from Roosevelt to Obama during the years this ‘older American’ listened.  And while it was politics as usual during those years with the inevitable differences in foreign policy, over raising or lowering taxes, or dealing with the infrastructure etc., there was always an expressed respect for harmony in our diversity.

Our President Elect has espoused or actually demonstrated disrespect for women, people of color, the disabled, immigrants, Muslims and many more.  Is this how we will flush away the American dream? Or can we believe that President Trump will be different from candidate Trump? I sure hope so!

For me the most disturbing characteristic of this campaign was Trump’s attitude toward women. He seems to see them as objects, not as individuals in their own right...less intelligent, inferior creatures subject to the convenience and entertainment of men like him. He ran against one of the smartest most knowledgeable women in this country, a woman arguably better trained and prepared for the job than any man ever to place his hand on that iconic bible. It’s sad to see that sexism is still very much alive.   

But Hillary was able to rise above the insults. She said we owed the president elect our open minds...and vowed to give him just that.  In her formal concession speech she also cautioned us not to abandon our ideals as she tried to bring all Americans together.  Hillary added a stirring and memorable message to women:

To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

I know that we still have not shattered that highest glass ceiling. But some day someone will -– hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And to all the little girls watching right now, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.

Thank you Hillary.

----

Aileen Riotto Sirey is the founder and Chair Emerita, National Organization of Italian American Women

Comments:

i-Italy

Facebook

Google+

Comments

on Franca Arena (not verified) wrote

Amertican elections

I wish to congratulate Aileen Sirey, Founder and Chair Emerita of the National Organzation of Italian American for her splendid article on the USA election Dr. Sirey has been an inspiration to women all over the world and thanks to her support , we Australian women of Italian descent, were able to make our voices heard and organize ourselves to build a better future for ourselves and our families We have been devastated by the loss of Hillary Clinton, a truly remarkable woman. It has been a loss which has effected us all. May God bless America at this time of a difficult future. We hope that President Trump will be a better man than candidate Trump. The future of the world is in his hands Franca Arena A.M. Founder and Life Honourary President for life of the Italian Australian Women Association
on jc (not verified) wrote

Reply to "The Day After".

I did not vote for Trump and its fine to decry him but its not sufficient to put Clinton's loss up to the ignorance of those who voted for him. Clinton's elitism and acquisitiveness put many off. It is not now, nor was it ever, enough to simply succeed and hold yourself out as a role model. You actually have to do something to help others and to be an activist. She has a history of failure on health insurance, she called women on welfare deadbeats and black boys super predators. She voted for and participated in unpopular and unnecessary wars. She espoused the principles of neoliberalism, including fighting an increase in the wages of Haitian women. I do not see her as the champion of women and children nor, it appears, does much of the population even if they can't say why and mouth nonsense like saying she a crook. She did not succeed on her own. I believe she came to prominence on the arm of a powerful man. This is on her. She did not understand or respond to the real problems of women with children in families, often with men, whose prospects diminish by the day. They will learn that Trump doesn't understand, or care, either but the lesser of two evils did not work on this Election Day.